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Food Pyramid Replaced with Simple Plate

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Healthy Eating related image Photo: Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently replaced the food pyramid with a dinner plate logo, making it a little easier to plan healthy, nutritious, and balanced meals for your family. Rather than bars of food groups stacked into a pyramid, the new icon is a simple, colorful dinner plate that encourages us to serve our kids more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat protein and dairy.

According to the USDA’s web page, ChooseMyPlate.gov, fill one side of your child’s plate with fruits and vegetables. On the other half of the plate, serve grains and protein. Aim to make half the grains your child eats whole wheat, rather than processed white flour. At our house, we make our sandwiches and toast with 100 percent whole wheat bread. When choosing protein, low-fat meat and chicken is recommended, plus a serving of seafood a week. Low-fat means ground beef with less than 80 percent fat or skinless chicken. A click on the beverage glass marked dairy reminds us that low-fat or skim is best and that soy is a good option.

The MyPlate site is loaded with easy-to-follow information. Start at the dinner plate icon and choose a food group. Clicking on that leads to an explanation of the food group and examples of food items. From there, the reader can click on serving size, recipes, tips, related topics, and other interactive tools for healthy eating. I found one click to be especially helpful: “How much is needed?” stated the daily serving for the food group not just by gender but age group. For instance, boys ages 14-18 should aim for 3 cups of milk a day, while children 2-3 years need 2 cups.

Of course, whether it is displayed as a plate or a pyramid, the information is a guideline. Nutrition recommendations may change depending on a child’s specific situation. Always find out from your family doctor what is best for your children’s nutrition.

Visit online at http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

Reviewed June 14, 2011
Edited by Alison Stanton

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

The Problem is not the Pyramid or MyPlate


A European filmmaker has been reversing weight problems in NON diabetics with a Diabetes diet.

It has been giving people who have a hard time losing weight a normal body weight fast

It is now used in 10 countries. ALL weight issues are caused by Food chemicals( PROCESSED FOODS) and he shows how to reverse it

if you are Diabetic or not see here http://spirithappy.org

June 19, 2011 - 5:08am
EmpowHER Guest

I like the plate, but the low fat, empty calories and whole grain recommendations are off the mark.

June 15, 2011 - 1:48pm

I think the plate idea is so visual and very understandable for every age. Maybe this will help with childhood obesity. The pyramid just did not click even with the colors.

June 14, 2011 - 2:33pm
(reply to Haralee)

I agree, the visuals are excellent! I plan to use this website in my classroom next school year...after all, the nutrition chapter in our health text book is now out of date!
Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

June 15, 2011 - 10:00am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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